Rheumatoid Arthritis

How Your Diet Can Affect Arthritis

About, 43 million American adults (about 1 in 5) reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

Another 23 million people reported chronic joint symptoms but had not been told by a doctor that they had arthritis. These data indicate that arthritis is one of the nation’s most common health problems.

As the U.S. population ages, these numbers are likely to increase dramatically. Arthritis comprises over 100 different diseases and conditions but the two most common are:

OSTEOARTHRITIS – Generally attributed to wear and tear and involves deterioration of the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones.

Usually occurs in people over the age of 40 and appears first in the larger joints (hip, shoulders, etc).

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS – Thought to be an autoimmune disease – literally where self attacks self. The white blood cells which usually attack foreign invaders begin attacking the delicate joint tissue causing inflammation, degradation and pain. This condition can also occur in children and will usually be seen in the smaller joints such as fingers and toes first.

Conventional medicine addresses these problems usually using steroid treatments or Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen.

While these may relieve the pain of arthritis they do nothing to halt the progression of the disease and can cause many unpleasant side-effects especially in the gut. Nutritional therapy on the other hand aims to halt or reverse the devastating effects of joint pain and swelling.

DIET - The role of diet in arthritis is a widely researched subject and many sufferers have responded incredibly well to identifying foods that may be triggering symptoms.

Here are 10 of the most common foods that can trigger symptoms.

1. All dairy products including sheep’s or goat’s cheese, butter and milk
2. Corn and all corn products ie. corn flour or corn oil
3. Meat – many people find that adopting a vegetarian diet can help as meat is very acidic and can cause inflammation
4. Wheat, oats and rye
5. Eggs
6. Citrus fruits
7. Potatoes
8. Tomatoes
9. Nuts
10. Coffee

In order to identify which, if any, of these foods may be causing or contributing to problems it is necessary to cut them all out for 4 weeks and then reintroduce each one, one at a time, noting whether they have any negative effects.

Foods which can be beneficial to sufferers include:

• Oily fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, trout, herring, anchovies and sardines – these contain omega 3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory. Don’t eat more than a couple of times a week because of toxins in the fish.

• Ginger – either cooked or brewed with hot water and drunk as tea. Has an antiinflammatory effect.
• Vegetables in the diet – helps the system to stay alkaline.

 

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